The United Nations (UN) has reported that over 1,200 children have lost their lives in Sudan refugee camps since May, with thousands of newborns likely facing mortality in the war-torn country by the end of this year.
Alarming Impact of War
The UN has expressed grave concerns regarding the impact of the war in Sudan on children’s health.
UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, voiced its concerns about the dire situation. “UNICEF is concerned that thousands of newborns will face mortality between now and the end of the year due to the cruel neglect of civilians and relentless attacks on health and nutrition services,” stated James Elder, a spokesperson for the UN children’s agency, during a press briefing in Geneva, as quoted by AFP.
Elder highlighted that 333,000 children are expected to be born in the country between October and December.
At the same time, the war has devastated nutrition services in the nation, he said.
“Every month, 55,000 children require treatment for this most deadly form of malnutrition. Yet, in Khartoum, less than one in 50 nutrition centers is still operational. In West Darfur, just one in 10 is functioning,” Elder explained.
UN Refugee Agency’s Disturbing Findings
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stated that its teams in Sudan had recorded over 1,200 child deaths under the age of five in nine refugee camps between May 15 and September 14.
These camps mostly host refugees from South Sudan and Ethiopia, according to Allen Maina, the head of public health at UNHCR, who spoke to reporters in Geneva.
UNHCR also reported that approximately 3,100 suspected cases of measles were recorded during the same period, with over 500 suspected cases of cholera reported in other areas of the country. This alarming situation is accompanied by outbreaks of dengue fever and malaria.
“The world has the means and funds to prevent all deaths from measles or malnutrition,” stated UNHCR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi in a press release.
The Dire Situation in Sudan
The dire circumstances in Sudan are the result of ongoing conflict and a lack of access to adequate healthcare and nutrition services. The war has had a devastating impact on civilians, particularly children, who are the most vulnerable.
The situation is exacerbated by the destruction of healthcare infrastructure and limited access to essential services such as nutrition centers. This has left thousands of children at risk of severe malnutrition and preventable diseases like measles and cholera.
The UNHCR’s findings highlight the urgent need for humanitarian assistance and the importance of ensuring access to healthcare and nutrition services for vulnerable populations, especially children. Immediate action is required to prevent further loss of life and suffering in Sudan.